Trends Indicate More Factories Are Becoming LEED-Certified

“More factories and industrial locations in the United States are going Green—and doing so at a “remarkable pace.”

Bloomington, IN – According to an article in Crain’s Chicago Business and a new report by the U.S. Green Building Council, “LEED in Motion: Industrial Facilities,” more factories and industrial locations in the United States are going Green—and doing so at a “remarkable pace.”1stephen ashkin, green2sustainable

The report indicates that today there are more than 500 million square feet of Green factory space. This includes more than 1,775 industrial facilities certified by Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED). It is projected this figure will rise to more than 2,710 industrial facilities—more than 737 million square feet of factory floor space—in the next few years.

Apparently, the impetus for this rush among manufacturing facilities to go Green and become LEED certified boils down to one thing: cost savings.

“But along with cost savings, these manufacturers are finding that sustainability has helped their entire business operations and improved the health of the workplace,” says Stephen Ashkin, CEO of the Sustainability Dashboard Tool, which helps organizations measure and monitor their use of natural resources and other sustainability performance indicators.

These benefits are one reason Ashkin and ISSA are working together to develop ISSA’s Operational Efficiency Program.

Designed specifically to assist ISSA distributor members in reducing operating costs, “many parts of the program will benefit jansan manufacturers as well,” says Ashkin.

As an example of what is happening—and why—the Crain’s article mentioned the South Engine plant of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, located in Trenton, Michigan. This is the world’s first engine plant to achieve LEED Gold certification, its second-highest ranking.

Annual CO2 emissions have been lowered by 12,000 metric tons, equal to the energy use of nearly 1,000 homes, and energy use on an annual basis has been reduced by 39 percent, saving the company $1.25 million a year.

“These are significant cost savings, good for the environment [and for] the overall sustainability crusade,” says Ashkin. “It’s creating a situation in which manufacturers are doing well by doing good, something we have seen happen over and over.”

 

1 Mahesh Ramanujam, “The Next Frontier for Green Building Is Manufacturing,” Crain’s Chicago Business, July 12, 2016